Creature of Havoc

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Creature of Havoc

Post  msistarted on Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:05 am

Creature of Havoc is a single-player roleplaying gamebook written by Steve Jackson, illustrated by Alan Langford and originally published in 1986 by Puffin Books. It was later republished by Wizard Books in 2002. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series, and is the last Fighting Fantasy gamebook written by Steve Jackson. It is the 24th in the series in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-032040-7) and 4th in the modern Wizard series (ISBN 1-84046-391-0).

The book has several different endings, but only one truly successful ending. This is also one of the more difficult Fighting Fantasy titles, with a large number of instant death entries as well as ways to make the book unwinnable without actually dying.

* 1 Premise
* 2 Background
* 3 Plot
* 4 Trivia
* 5 Rules
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links

[edit] Premise

Evil is festering in Trolltooth Pass. The necromancer Zharradan Marr is close to stealing the secrets of Elven magic which would make him invincible. Nothing could then prevent his legions of Chaos from taking over the whole of Allansia...

But what do you know or care about all this? In this unique adventure, YOU are the Creature of Havoc, a monstrous beast with a taste for fighting. Ruled only by hunger and rage, you have no knowledge of your past or destiny. If you survive, you may begin to control your bestial nature and learn your true purpose. But success is by no means certain, for the traps and terrors of Trolltooth Pass are many...

The player begins this adventure with no idea who they are or where they are. The player is an unidentified beast and begins the adventure with no concept of language or reason. The player must discover what has happened to them and along the way a greater plot unfolds.
[edit] Background

The book (unusually) begins with an extensive background section detailing the recent history of an area of Allansia known as the Trolltooth Pass. An evil necromancer named Zharradan Marr has slowly been seizing power in the region by building up wealth and a small army. He is particularly feared as a practitioner of marrangha, a type of black magic that involves the transformation of limbs and organs from one creature to another. Marr learnt this from his mentors in the village of Dree, an evil settlement of witches. It was due to this interest in marrangha that he renamed his name from Zharradan Dree to Zharradan Marr.

Over the years Marr has built up a dedicated ring of followers: Vallaska Roue, a human; Hannicus, a wizard of neutral alignment; Thugruff, a Half-Troll; and Darramouss, an undead half-elf. Hannicus gives Marr much information about the area, including the legend of Stittle Woad - an elven village in the Forest of Spiders that supposedly hold three "Vapours" - benevolent spirits which bestow the gifts of reason, languages and elven magic.

Marr, interested in the secrets of elven magic, manages to steal the Vapours - however, he finds that he cannot understand their secrets without finding the village of Stittle Woad. This presents a problem, as the village is hidden high in the forest's treetops by elven magic. A solution presents itself in the form of the Galleykeep, a flying ship that arrives from the east. Marr uses his troops to capture the flying ship and makes it not only his new headquarters, but a tool to discover the location of Stittle Woad from above.
[edit] Plot

Little of the background information is relevant to the player at the beginning of the book, for they wake up in a dark corridor to find that they have no memory of who they are. Not only that, but the player is not even human - they take the role of a large, powerful and unintelligent beast.

This results in some difficulty as the player makes his way through the first sections of the book, which are set in Marr's underground dungeons. Because the creature cannot make its own decisions, it is governed by instinct, and die rolls are used to determine decisions rather than the player's own choice. This changes once the player finds the Vapour of Reason, which allows him to make his own choices.

The player proceeds through the dungeon, killing a number of adventurers which (judging from information in the background) are seeking to recover the Vapours. The player may soon find the Vapour of Languages, which allows him to understand what others are saying. If successful, he will encounter the wizard Hannicus, who has been imprisoned by Marr for incompetence. Hannicus tells the player how to get past Darramouss, who guards the exit of the dungeon. The player would be able to use this information to kill Darramouss and then escapes the underground complex into a graveyard.

On the surface, the player may encounter by the Witch-Women of Dree, who send him on a quest to find them Sculliweed root. On the way the player befriends a Half-Orc named Grog, and when Grog is killed by toadmen, takes his knapsack (which contains a mysterious wooden case). The player finds Sculliweed and delivers it to the Witch-Women, who in return tell him where to find Daga Weaseltongue, an elf who then tells the player how to get on board the Galleykeep (which involves being caught in a trap, many of which are littered around the forest to provide the flying ship with food).

On board the Galleykeep, the player fights past Marr's creatures and confronts the necromancer himself, who is on the other side of a portal to the Underworld. Marr reveals what is inside Grog's wooden case: the Vapour of Elven Magic. He also reveals that the player was originally the captain of the Galleykeep, and was transformed into a hideous beast using marrangha after Marr captured the ship. Many of the monsters the player killed in Marr's dungeons were former members of the crew, likewise transformed by marrangha.

Marr demands the Vapour, but the player defeats him by destroying the portal. With the necromancer banished from the world of the living, the effects of marrangha wear off, and the player reverts into his previous human self. The book ends with him returning to his position as commander of the Galleykeep. If the player fails, he is forced by Marr to give him the vapour, and with that the player kills Marr's right hand man to become his second-in-command (although this is unseen epilogue). Marr then uses the vapour to find Stittle Woad and takes over Titan.
[edit] Trivia
Creature of Havoc map

1, In order to escape the underground labyrinth of Zharradan Marr, you're instructed to identify a secret door that leads to the Dungeon Master's room by a text passage in the book starting with a particular combination of words (see reference number 237 or 290). But, when you find it, this text marker is mistakenly left out (see reference number 213), thus not identifying the secret door it hides. This mistake was in the original 1980s Puffin as well as the early 2002 Wizard prints. It is corrected in later Wizard versions (Series 1) but it reappears again in the latest version released in February 2010.

2, Although frequently described in the text, there's only one clear illustration of the titular 'creature' in the entire gamebook; a silhouette in the picture of the Shadow Stalker's room within the underground dungeon (see picture to book reference 334).

3, The only illustration of the villain Zharradan Marr was the original 1980s cover by Ian Miller. As the Wizard reprint had a new cover, featuring the Manic Beast by Les Edwards (see above), there's now no picture of him as his image doesn't appear anywhere else within the title.

4, Originally released in late 1986, this was the final Fighting Fantasy game book written by Steve Jackson.

5, A digital version of this book was released as an iPhone app in August 2010, available to buy via Apple's AppStore. It features Ian Miller's original cover artwork (instead of the newer cover by Les Edwards) and the original illustrations from within have been digitally remastered and coloured. It is part of a continuing, seemingly randomly ordered released range of iPhone Apps from the Fighting Fantasy series, the others including Deathtrap Dungeon, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and Citadel of Chaos.
[edit] Rules

This book contains slightly different rules from most Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. A hit to the player in combat does 1 STAMINA point less damage than usual due to the player's tough hide and rolling a double when determining the player's attack strength will instantly kill an enemy. In the Wizard version the Battle rules have been copied and pasted from Firetop Mountain so that the reduced damage in combat is not made clear.

The Wizard version of the book also has the map omitted, as the original version of the book had the map printed on the inside front cover.

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